"All the Things that Can Go Wrong On A Cruise"


The table below lists "events at sea" occurring after January 1, 2020, including cruise ship accidents.  It is based on media reports, passenger reports posted at on-line boards and discussion groups, and reports sent to Cruise Junkie.

THE Comprehensive list of Persons Overboard, 1995 - 2020

Pollution and Environmental Violations and Fines

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Have you been onboard during an "event" or illness outbreak?  Let me know.

January 23, Celebrity Cruises, Reservation agent threatens to kill a customer
Wichita Eagle reports a former customer service representative for a cruise line’s call center in Wichita has admitted to threatening during a phone call to kill a family. Dixon admitted in her plea that she was employed by Celebrity Cruises, a subsidiary of Royal Caribbean Cruises, when she answered a call at the company’s Wichita call center in April 2018. The customer “became dissatisfied with the service provided by (Dixon)“ and hung up on her. She then called the customer back about 3 minutes later on a private phone, the plea states. She told the customer she knew where they lived and that she planned to travel to Illinois to kill the customer and their family.

January 23, Celebrity Cruises, Strategic Partner has never cruised and doesn't know one company from another
Fox Business reports the founder of health and wellness empire appeared on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” Wednesday to promote her new Netflix show and upcoming cruise, but accidentally name-dropped the wrong line. The blunder happened when Meyers asked “The Politician”actress if she had ever been on a cruise. “I have never been on an actual cruise,” Paltrow admitted, “I’ve always wanted to do it. We were approached by Royal Caribbean to do a collaboration with them – a wellness one – and so we’re really excited about it.” The cruise line she partnered with is Celebrity.

January 22, Oasis OTS, Person overboard
Cruise Law News reports the U.S. Coast Guard states that it is searching this evening for a 46 year old man who went overboard this evening from the ship which was moored at port (at Pier 3) in Old Juan, Puerto Rico. The man apparently went overboard from deck 10. The ship was chartered for a week long Atlantis cruise from Fort Lauderdale. The person's body was subsequently recovered.

January 22, Pride of America, Missed port call (Kona) - sea conditions
The ship skipped its port call at Kona, sailing directly from Hilo to Kauai.

January 21, QE II, Disrupt ferry operations in port
Otago Daily Times reports ferry commuters in Auckland are fuming because of delays caused by cruise ships berthing in the city. One commuter told the New Zealand Herald seven ferries were slowly circling the inner harbour this morning while the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship berthed at Princes Wharf. One Waiheke woman, Chloe Barker, said this morning was the third time this week her ferry has been cancelled due to cruise ship arrivals. In an email to the Harbourmaster she said the current situation is untenable. "You are affecting the lives of thousands of commuters. We are late for our jobs, hospital appointments, childcare arrangements and other responsibilities because cruise ships are being prioritised over passenger ferries."

January 20, Artania, Late departure, revised itinerary
The ship finally departed this morning for Durban, dropping port calls at Port Elizabeth and New London.

January 20, Orchestra, Cruise canceled
The cruise to Walvis Bay, scheduled to leave several days ago, was canceled. Ship remains in Cape Town.

January 20, AIDAmira, Late arrival & departure
The ship finally docked in the early afternoon after being held until winds subsided. No information yet on how the next cruise is impacted by the delay.

January 20, Nautica, Late arrival & departure
The ship was finally able to dock at Cape Town more than 24 hours later than planned. Its departure for the next cruise is scheduled for 5AM on the 21st. The ship will keep its port call at Walvis Bay (Namibia) but it will only be for one day instead of two.

Medical Evacuations from Cruise Ships
Many people report medical evacuations from cruise ships as something that should be reported here. I don't report them because they are very common. But, do you know who pays for the medical evacuations from cruise ships? Your tax dollars hard at work subsidizing the cruise industry and cruise passengers. A medical evacuation can exceed $1 million dollars. It is nice that the US (and Canadian and other Governments) pay the cost so cruise ships and cruise corporation continue to earn billions of dollars TAX FREE.

January 17, Orchestra & Artania, Delayed by weather
From a reader: PORT OF CAPE TOWN WINDBOUND - Ms Artania and MSC Orchestra both currently being held against the quay by tugs (17/02/20). Gale force winds in Cape Town.  UPDATE 19 January: PORT OF CAPE TOWN WINDBOUND - Ms Artania and MSC Orchestra both currently being held against the quay by tugs (19/02/20). Gale force winds in Cape Town. Nautica and AIDAmira circling outside waiting to berth. Artania itinerary amended to skip Port Elizabeth and head straight to East London. MSC Orchestra cruise to Walvis Bay cancelled.

January 17, Sun Princess, Delayed arrival (technical issues)
The Advocate reports Burnie cruise ship volunteers "got a sleep in" on Friday after a vessel arrived around two hours late. The Sun Princess' departure from Melbourne was delayed "following a technical matter that was resolved prior to departure", a Princess Cruises spokesperson said.

January 17, Carnival Dream, Itinerary change - Cruise to nowhere
Cruise Hive reports the ship's 4 day cruise has been changed to a three-day cruise to nowhere. This is the result of a fog-caused delay in ending the previous cruise.

January 17, Orchestra, Missed port call, delays
From a reader: MSC Orchestra recent voyage from Walvis Bay (dep 14/1/20) to Cape Town via Luderitz, omitted Luderitz to make Cape Town before wind closed the port. Arrived a day early in Cape Town (16/1/20). Due to sail from Cape Town back to Walvis Bay today, 17/1/20. port remains closed due to wind.

January 16, Marella Discovery, Propulsion problems; missed ports
Independent reports Britain’s biggest holiday company is refusing refunds to disappointed passengers booked on a faulty cruise ship – yet at the same time selling voyages to new customers at almost half price. For the past five weeks Marella Discovery, has been sailing in south east Asia with half her propulsion out of action. The ship suffered what the company called “localised burning within the transformer housing”, and is still awaiting repairs. The maximum speed has been cut from 24 knots (28mph) to 16 knots (18mph) – meaning ​ it cannot sail fast enough to reach all her planned ports of call in the Far East.

January 16, Carnival Elation, Propulsion problems; missed ports
From a passenger: Missed both ports / Amber Cove due to engine issues and Grand Turk due to Wind issues. Spent 4 days in a row at sea them finally made a stop in Nassau against most cruisers desire on the last day before heading back to port canaveral.

January 16, Enchantment OTS, Fog delays arrival/departure (Galveston)
Cruise Hive reports the ship is waiting for a slot to depart Galveston when allowed to do so by the authorities. Do keep checking for official updates from the cruise line if you are booked on any of the cruises.

January 16, Carnival Fantasy, Fog delays arrival/departure (Mobile)
Cruise Hive reports good news for the Port of Mobile as the ship will arrive but much later. The ship will dock later on in the afternoon and guests booked on the next sailing should start arriving at the terminal from 8:00 PM. All guests must be onboard by 10:30 PM.

January 16, Carnival Dream, Fog delays arrival/departure (Galveston)
Cruise Hive reports Carnival Cruise Line has now released an update that the Port of Galveston remains closed due to fog and the ship remains anchored off the coast. Those guests booked on the next cruise scheduled to depart today are being told to not arrive at the terminal and wait for the next update at 5:00 PM local time.

January 15, Emerald Princess (ship unknown), Bedbugs
Travel Pulse reports actress Connie Flores and her husband Alvin are suing the cruise line alleging that their stateroom was infested with bed bugs during a recent cruise from Los Angeles to Mexico. The lawsuit was filed on the couple's behalf by My Bed Bug Lawyer, a Los Angeles-based law firm specializing in bed bug litigation, according to a press release published on Wednesday. "Imagine yourself on a cruise at sea with your stateroom infested with bed bugs. There was nowhere to go. We were trapped. We felt helpless. There were bed bugs coming out of the pillows and the mattress, we felt betrayed," Flores said in a statement.

January 14, Azura, Missed port calls
From a passenger: I am on board Azura A001 10 - 24 Jan. We missed our first port 11 Jan St Vincent captain said 30 kph we had day at sea 12 Jan captain added an extra port we visited Martinique we needed assistance from a tug to get out of port then last night the show was cancelled because the ship was listing to one side and we had rough seas. Today 13 Jan out call at St Kitts is cancelled we are having extra day at sea due to the St Kitts pilot reporting 30 kph wind sea level. Captain said he hopes we will make St Martin tomorrow and he will try and add an extra port later in the cruise.

January 12, Crown Princess, Missed port calls
From a passenger: We are on the January 6 Crown Princess trip to the Southern Carribean. A total of six ports of call were scheduled. Three of the six have been cancelled: Bahamas, Antigua, and Saint Kitts. We are now returning directly to Fort Lauderdale.

January 11, Empress OTS, Missed port call
From a passenger
:  Missed port of call at Virgin Gorda, B.V.I on January 7, 2020. Apparently this is the first time RCCL has stopped at this port. Tender boats were required to get passengers to shore but due to choppy waves it was unsafe for passengers to get off. 2 tender boats went out, the first one struck coral due to shallow water and lost power, the second tender boat struck coral and spun out.

January 11, Nieuw Amsterdam, Canceled cruise
The February 1 sailing has been canceled so the ship can undergo repairs of its propulsion system. It will return to service February 8.

January 9, Orchestra, Missed port call
From a reader: MSC Orchestra currently on a coastwise voage from Durban (dep 8/1/20) to Cape Town (eta 12/1/20) with a stop in Port Elizabeth on 10/1/20 has now skipped Port Elizabeth and will arrive tomorrow, 11/1/20 instead of Sunday 12/1/20. No reason given except that wind is expected in Cape Town on Sunday and it is anticipated that the ship will leave Cape Town earlier than planned on the next cruise to Namibia on 12/1/20. It is expected that passengers will have the option to either spend the day/night on board in port in Cape Town or disembark.

January 8, Carnival Corporation, Under microscope for gross disregard for the environment
Cruise Law News has provided two excellent discussions of the latest report to the Court of Carnival Corporation's ongoing practices that show disregard for the environment. The most recent quarterly report contains over 220 violations in three months in 2019. See here and here.

January 7, Carnival Dream, Dropped port call
Cruise Hive reports the ship returned to her homeport (Galveston) for a medical emergency after commencing the cruise. The return meant the ship had to drop Cozumel from the planned itinerary.

January 5, Meraviglia, Unknown incident (collision with something?)
From a passenger: At approximately 4:30am on Sunday January 5th while on board the MSC Meraviglia my family was rocked out of our sleep while sailing into the port of Miami and then seconds later received an in-cabin announcement intended for crew advising “Delta Echo” three times. We went out onto our balcony to see crew members looking out over the side of our ship where the life boats were suspended (and thankfully stayed in place). Eventually things seemed to calm down and so we went back inside our rooms as no updates were provided by the Captain or any of the crew. A couple hours later we asked our cabin attendant what had happened and he advised that the back of our ship had apparently “hit something” but he had no more details. Our friendly and normally very chatty Cruise Director Gene just glazed over the morning departure information and pretended like nothing happened! A quick search online seemed to confirm what our cabin attendant had advised with “Delta” apparently meaning damage to the ship and “Echo” meaning the ship either struck something or was struck by something! In my opinion, this situation was not handled well by the Meraviglia Captain / crew. Once “events” like these are stabilized and everyone is known to be safe, cruise Captains and their staff have to be a lot more transparent and let their passengers know what took place and what was the end result. Pretending like nothing happened breaks down the trust between the paying guests and may make many passengers weary of taking future cruises! From another passenger: I can confirm the Meraviglia event on Jan 5th... I was looking it up, as to find out what really might have happened? We were woken up by a very LOUD and FELT "BANG" to the ship, as if we had hit something HARD. Immediately there was an announcement over or IN-CABIN speakers (which we never heard before or after) "DELTA ECHO, DELTA ECHO, DELTA ECHO". No clue what happened... we fell asleep 5-10 minutes later and the next morning everything was as if nothing ever happened.
January 4, Carnival Vista, Unscheduled stop
From a passenger: Ship rerouted back to Galveston for a medical emergency. The delay did not effect the itinerary.
January 3, Meraviglia, Stuck in port overnight (winds)
Cruise Radio reports weather conditions have kept the ship docked at Costa Maya overnight and is now scheduled to leave at 5:00 PM on January 3. The ship will spend the day at sea on January 4th and is set to arrive back in Miami, per schedule, on January 5th.

January 3, Sapphire Princess, Struck by lightning - radar knocked out
Crew Center reports the ship was hit by lightning today while sailing in Indonesian waters. No one on board was hurt, but the lightning caused damage to the ship's radar. The lightning struck the mast of the ship and damaged the radar, therefore Sapphire Princess cannot continue the voyage until the radar is fully operational. Update: 6:17pm. We're anchored off the eastern part of Singapore Straits, while they're working hard to fix the problem.” According to the latest update, the Captain announced that the team managed to get one radar working by taking spares from the other radar. Sapphire Princess is sailing on a 10 Night Malaysian Peninsula & Indonesia cruise. The ship departed from Singapore on 28 December and was scheduled to visit Bali,  Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Phuket, before returning to Singapore on January 07.

January 2, Black Watch, Illness outbreak (?)
From a passenger: the ship is in Lisbon over a day early due to an outbreak of Influenza A. One passenger so far has been disembarked due to testing positive & will not be allowed to continue to travel aboard.

January 2, Elation, Environmental Offense
WESH reports more than 6000 gallons of wastewater gushed into the water at Port Canaveral on Thursday from a cruise ship. The cruise ship Carnival Elation reported the spill immediately to the U.S. Coast Guard and Brevard County Sheriff's Office. Twenty-two metric tons of gray water were spilled, according to the Sheriff's Office. < href="">Cruise Law News reports other wastewater violations by Carnival in 2018 & 2019, including: June 2018 – Queen Mary 2, in Phuket, Thailand - a grey water tank overflowed directly overboard for approximately five minutes after ship employees were distracted by numerous alarms sounding which were unrelated to the grew water tank. August 2019 – Carnival Paradise, at anchor in Grand Cayman – grey water overflowed for five minutes during an internal grey water transfer. September 2019 – Carnival Imagination - heading to Long Beach, California when 50 liters of grey water overflowed when the line became clogged with food particles washed into a drain from the pizza galley. September 2018 - Holland America Line’s Westerdam discharged over 22,000 gallons of grey water into Glacier Bay National Park. The notice of violation claims the discharge was a “mistake,” but the discharge continued on for 25 minutes.

Events 2019